Feelin’ The Heat

🎶 I’m burnin’ up, burnin’ up for you babayyyyy.🎶

Does ANYONE remember that Jonas Brothers’ song!?

It’s finally getting steamy over here in Boston! I used to hate the heat, but I appreciate it now. Mostly at night when I can walk out of a restaurant and not have to brace myself in the chilly air (← problems that are not real problems).

I was definitely feelin’ the heat of the sun this weekend and also feelin’ the heat of work/school starting up again. I’m excited to have a routine again though. I can only go so long as a nomad of life. I’m actually currently typing this as I help proctor an exam (don’t worry, I’ve got my eyes on the students too 😉 ).

Friday

I worked all day at my usual side job as a house helper.

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overnight oats in a pb jar(!) for the morn’

Living farther from work/campus in June and July means my sustenance depends on tupperwares.

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“use all the leftovers” kind of lunch — two eggs, two egg whites, greens, pepper jack and feta

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After work, I met up with an incoming BU freshman who I met on one of my campus tours. We had a lovely time chatting and getting to know each other for over two hours over berry hibiscus iced tea at Pavement.

I also went to the gym that night for the first time in a long time! I still can’t run, but rowing is fine. I missed cardio (never thought I’d say that) these past couple weeks after very little impact for my healing hips. It was also bumpin’ in the gym on a Friday night. People are so dedicated in the summer!

The moves and grooves:

Warmup (5 min rowing)

  • 3×10 scap flye pushups // 3×10 stability ball scorpions
  • 1×10 lat pulldown (70#), 3×6 assisted pull-up negatives (50# assist) // 3×10 decline pushups
  • 1×10 military press (20# DBs), 2×10 Arnold press (12# DBs) // 3×10 med ball squat cleans (20#)

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 cals rowing // 8 burpees between each set

Boston was looking SO FINE on my way home.

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Bedtime snack:

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Saturday

I got up relatively early the next day to meet Ben for our usual Saturday Spartan workout. He let me lead so that the workout was sure to be friendly for my hip. He also asked me to “murder his arms,” so I immediately thought of Lori and Michelle’s 18 minute plank workout, aka the slow but sure killer. He kept calling the exercises “fake,” but that’s just because they were hard 🙂

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We also did some reverse rows, tricep dips, and this same 10 minute ab workout from Pinterest that we did a few nights before.

With wiggly arms and warm cores, we parted ways. A tupperware breakfast to enjoy on a bench:

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leftover green pancakes with almond butter and jam

Then I went to Mass downtown and walked home for lunch.

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leftover Thai food

For the rest of the afternoon, I studied a little bit of gross anatomy for work, read some Brideshead Revisited, and took a delicious 20 minute nap (← My mom calls naps delicious and I don’t know I feel about it, but here I am.)

Saturday evening involved a super special belated birthday surprise from the bff, Rachel! She asked me to put on a cute dress, come over to her place for dinner, and let her take me out for the night. Already loved everything about it.

I arrived to a set table and the smell of pasta cooking on the stove, and we soon sat down for a lovely dinner of salads with arugula, feta, dried cranberries and homemade apple cider vinaigrette…

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…and tortellini with marinara. So simple and satisfying.

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Look at this chef!

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After finishing, we cleaned up and headed out into town. Before dinner I didn’t know where she was taking me, but after a little thought and prodding, I figured out that she was taking me to the Omni Parker House for drinks and desserts! So fancy!! Also a food bucket list destination 🙂

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We sat down at the bar (what a GROWN WOMAN thing to do, we’re GROWN WOMEN wow) and ordered a drink each, plus two cakes to share.

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We had to get the original Boston Cream Pie, because a) it originated at the Parker House; b) it’s on our food bucket list. I also learned that Boston Cream PIE is actually cake.

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The second cake was carrot cake, because Rachel knows it’s my all-time fave.

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Neither cake blew me away, but they were both still cake, rich and delicious!

Our drinks thooooough. We took the waitress’ recommendations , so Rachel got an “Craft Manhattan” on the rocks. It was Woodford Reserve Bourbon (which the menu says has “a bouquet of banana bread, orange and vanilla” WHAT) paired with Doulin Rouge (“a lighter sweet vermouth”), stirred with orange bitters.

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I don’t know what half of those things are, but it was super strong and good.

And I got the Blackberry Whiskey Sour, which was Jack Daniels Tennessee whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and blackberry puree. So like juice, just how I prefer it. Rachel said it was one of the best drinks she’s ever tasted.

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It was so wonderful getting to chat with my best friend all night and do fancy grownup things with her. Thank you so much again, Rachel. Love you forever.

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I slept in on Sunday and started the day with some yoga in my room. Other happenings included a sweaty walk to a work meeting, sitting by the river, and Mass. I won’t get into too much detail about my day on Sunday because I have a “week in the life” vlog coming for ya later this week! I might do the full week, I might just do half a week because my life isn’t that interesting. We’ll see.

Have a fantastic week ahead, friends! Eat cake and do something fancy.

So tell me: 

Have you ever eaten Boston Cream Pie? 

Two things you did this weekend! 

Do you ever have to pack a whole day’s worth of food with you?

A Single Lady’s Birthday

Putcha hands up!

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[source]

I had a wonderful single lady’s birthday yesterday! Not just in the sense that I don’t have a boyfriend, but 99% of my day was spent with just me, myself and I. But thanks to Facebook, email and FaceTime, I felt surrounded by my loved ones all day ♥︎

(I’m trying to type this post, but I’m so mesmerized by the above gif. THAT SYNCHRONIZATION.)

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After breakfast and blogging yesterday, I answered some emails and messages and FaceTimed Madre before working out in the teeny exercise room in the apartment building. I did another strength-based, low-impact, 16-minute workout to be kind to my hip/thigh/knee. 4 rounds, 30 seconds work, 10 seconds rest:

*DB = dumbbell

I ate a multipart lunch after the workout. It included carrots and hummus, avocado egg toast, grapes, and popcorn. The bliss of an almost empty fridge (seriously, I am a big fan of all these foods).

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There’s no way I’d rather eat this avocado egg toast than by myself. My face becomes a Jackson Pollock canvas for dripping egg yolk and bright red sriracha.

I then took a bus downtown to the St. Francis Chapel in the Prudential Center for confession, Mass, and prayer. I may have been by myself all day, but with God, we are never alone 🙂 I did also see three friends at Mass!

Carrot cake was on my mind all day, because as fun as it is to be able to drink legally now, there’s nothing like celebrating a birthday with good ol’ cake. I 100% searched “best carrot cake in Boston” earlier in the day to find that Flour Bakery had stellar reviews for their carrot cake. Luckily, it was only a 15 minute walk from the Prudential Center!

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It wasn’t the cheapest piece of carrot cake ever, but it looked so cute and delicious. And it was the last piece left. And the internet said it was exceptional carrot cake. And it was my birthday.

Bag o’ cake in hand, I walked/bussed back home to find Christie waiting for me with half a dozen Georgetown Cupcakes! How sweet (no pun intended)!

Before digging into the plethora of cake, I had some necessary tasks to complete: shower, laundry, real dinner. Then it was time to EAT CAKE. Christie basically had a tasting party of all the flavors.

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The carrot cake from Flour is amazing. It was my favorite cake of the night. It has raisins and walnuts (how I like it), it’s moist (not sorry) and dense, and the cream cheese frosting is perfect. I’d say it’s comparable to Lloyd’s carrot cake from NYC!

Mini cakes next!

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Reviews from top left:

  • Peanut Butter Fudge: YUM. Not an overwhelming flavor of either chocolate or peanut butter. Perfectly balanced and delicious. Second favorite.
  • “Vanilla Butterfly Surprise”: Perhaps intended for five-year-olds OR named by a five-year-old. Very tasty but we could not figure out for the life of us what exactly the flavor was. Vanilla funfetti but distinctly toasty. Brown butter? Sugar cookie? Toasted marshmallow? Popcorn? Fifth favorite.
  • Earl Grey: Earl grey flavor is definitely present but also light and pleasant. Third favorite of the night.
  • Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake: Raspberry cheesecake with cream cheese frosting on top. I’d be happy with just the cheesecake, but all of it together was wonderful. Fourth favorite.
  • “Purple Rose”: Just a vanilla cupcake, but well-executed. Sixth favorite, but it was still a great cupcake.
  • (another Earl Grey)

Now we have about 50% of everything left for snacking 🙂 Thank you so much again for this delicious treat, Christie!

An overall lovely day. Everyone’s birthday wishes also made my heart so full.

I’m going back to New York today for a week! It’ll be good to be home with the fam and to see some old friends!

So tell me:

What food/dessert do you like to eat on your birthday?

Most interesting cake flavor you’ve ever tried.

Two things you did yesterday!

 

 

 

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

I got up before 6 am two days in a row, and got up before 8 on a SUNDAY.

Unlike most people in the healthy living blog world, I am usually a total night owl (for no good reason except that I’m a procrastinator who likes to start things an hour before I plan on going to bed). But for the past few days, I’ve been early(ish) to bed, early to rise.

The earlier sunrises definitely help. The weather has been pretty lovely lately too! So lovely that I took a one 1.5-hour break on Thursday to take a long walk with my friend Zoe.

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The next day was not quite as nice, but I still got up to run with my friends Sarah and Moises at 7 am. ‘Twas thanks to them that I started my early bird trend.

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I actually got up before 6am because I needed to pee really badly (typical), so I did a short 12 minute circuit outside before we met up for our run.

3 rounds, 30 seconds work, 10 seconds rest:

  • air squats
  • pushups
  • bench step up hops right
  • bench step up hops left
  • elevated knee to elbow planks
  • bridges

We ran three warm and humid miles. You might know that I don’t love running, but if it’s at a manageable pace with friends, I can deal.

Continuing with the trend of non-trends in weather, the rest of Friday was sunny and gorgeous!

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I worked for most of the day, came home to break for a snack…

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…sit on my butt for a couple hours, and then walk to dinner with my dear friends (who went on that awesome cruise with me last summer!) Christie and Monica.

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We met at Umai for sushi, because it’s basically canon law that we eat sushi whenever we see each other.

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And we finished it off with ice cream from J.P. Licks. I feel like people always eat ice cream after sushi, but that seems like a horrible combo when I think about it.

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mint cookies ‘n’ cream

We weren’t complaining at all though. It was so fun catching up with these ladies! ♥︎

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Instead of going out for more social activities after saying goodbye to Christie and Monica, I went home, did a whole bunch of nothing, and went to sleep a little after 11. My roommate Megan was so impressed. I almost never go to sleep before her.

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I did have a little bit of motivation to go to sleep early because I agreed to work out with my Spartan Race buddy, Ben, at 7am on Saturday morning. I was in charge of the workout, so I came up with this:

6 rounds:

  • Partner 1: Run to end of dock and back (a little less than 400m probably)
  • Partner 2: AMRAP 5 burpee bench jumpovers + 20 tricep dips + 10 plank jacks

We both agreed that the running was the worst part of it. Then we struggled through finished with 8 minutes of core before calling it a day.

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Next on the agenda was attending our friends Piers’ and Dani’s Confirmation Mass. A bunch of us from the Catholic Center headed to Newton to witness the beautiful sacrament and show support for Piers and Dani. It was a GREAT DAY.

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one of the most beautiful things in the world is seeing my friends so earnestly speaking with God

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Congratulations, Piers (pink tie front and center) and Dani (white dress)!!

The rest of the day involved studying, breakfast for dinner…

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plus a ton of roasted broccoli straight out of the oven

…and leftover carrot cake from Easter.

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I went to bed a little after 11 again, WOW.

Sunday was another wonderful day. I slept in until 7 (what a weird statement) and made Kylie’s simple paleo pancake for breakfast.

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added blueberries, topped with sunflower seed butter and maple syrup + 1.5 glasses o’ milk

The next eight hours of my life were spent helping out for our Catholic Center chaplain’s 20-year priesthood anniversary celebration (with a two hour break for Mass in there). I would not have wanted to spend those eight hours any other way than with good people in honor of a good man.

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A few people (shoutout to Fran, Joe, and Bobby!) worked exceptionally hard to make the whole surprise come together, and so many people came out to celebrate!

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We love you, Fr. Barnes!

And now it’s time to descend into the depths of finals. We have three days of classes left, but I feel like it’s all just a straight shot to the finish line of finals.

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🎶 here comes the sun doo doo dooooo 🎶

I’ll try to keep up this early bird streak; I like the early mornings, especially when the sun is up! I hope you all have a marvelous Monday!

So tell me:

Are you a night owl or an early bird?

Something wonderful about your weekend!

Is sushi followed by ice cream a thing, or am I crazy? 

 

Alleluia!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

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Oh mannnnnn. Easter just gets better every year — more meaningful, more beautiful, more joyful — because “God is infinitely interesting,” as Fr. Barnes once said!

It’s been a wild ride this week, but I think what makes Holy Week leading up to Easter so special is that:

a) people are getting baptized, confirmed, received into the Church!

b) everyone is laser-focused not on themselves but on God Himself. Work, worries, fears, doubts… nothing seems to matter in the face of the reality that Christ gave Himself for us and rose from the dead as He promised. It’s something Christians/Catholics know, but it’s not always something we stop and truly, deeply think about. Holy Week is the time for it, and it is like nothing else in the world.

Festivities included the longest (but most beautiful) Mass ever on Saturday night, followed by a party to ring in Easter!

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I made carrot cake for the occasion using Alton Brown’s recipe. ‘Twas a hit (only because I made sure to make some with AND without raisins and walnuts).

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My body was ready for allllll the food after [just a little bit of] fasting.

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like these mini chicken and waffle bites that Veronica made!!

I got to reunite with peanut butter after giving it up for Lent, and it was quite an event. I literally packed half a pb&j sandwich to bring to the party because I’m ridiculous.

My face can be described as “blissful baby chipmunk” whenever I eat things I enjoy.

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left: last year at a relay race where we had to eat bananas // right: breaking the peanut butter fast this year

Eating, drinking, and being merry 🙂

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On Sunday, I helped prepare brunch for the masses of people after the Easter Mass.  First, I ate my first peanut buttery overnight oats in 40+ days for breakfast.

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I thoroughly enjoyed it.

My friend Louis headed a bunch of people in flapjack flipping, ham carving, table setting, and dessert plating.

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Then we feasted!

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It was a hot and gorgeous day for Easter yesterday too!

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Louis the brunch MVP

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junior ladiez

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Special shoutout to Fiona who rucked (sped-walked with 35-lb. of army gear on her back) 26.2 miles for the Tough Ruck Marathon on Saturday!!! You’re my hero.

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Lauren is my dance partner of choice for life

I also FaceTimed my family + worked out by the river yesterday since it was so nice out!

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At the end of all the celebration madness, when everyone is gone and moving on with their lives, we remember again the One who this is all about. To the quietest, most precious Source of Life — all glory and honor to Thee.

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Hope you all have a wonderful Monday! We have the day off because it’s Marathon Monday/Patriot’s Day 😀

So tell me:

The best thing about your weekend!

If you celebrate, what did you do for Easter or Passover?

One beautiful thing in your life.

 

Weekend Confessions

I feel like the primary purpose of this post is to let my parents know that I am alive and well. Hi, Madre and Pop!!

weekend confessions

Confession #1: I’m going to brag about the salmon and meatloaf I made at work on Friday. Even though I could only have small bites of each for quality control, I have decided that this was possibly the best salmon I’ve ever made and the best (also, the first and only) meatloaf I’ve ever made. Both of them had Trader Joe’s whole grain dijon mustard in it, FYI.

For the salmon: Season with salt and pepper. Rub a crap ton of the mustard + a good drizzle of honey all over. Top with a few dill sprigs. Bake at 425F for 12 minutes.

And I used this meatloaf recipe!

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the salmon looks burnt and the meatloaf looks average, but I promise they were so good! the mustard was all sweet and crispy on the salmon 😀

Confession #2: I almost lost my voice screaming at my first BU hockey game of the season. I hadn’t been to a game in almost a year, so it was great to be back in the “dog pound” cheering on our Terriers!

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we won against University of Maine 4-1 *high fives*

Confession #3: I’ve made more Irish friends during one week in Boston than I did in 3.5 months in Ireland. There’s an exchange student from Ireland who frequents the Catholic Center, so now I have a total of ONE [native] Irish friend who is my age.

Confession #4: I wanted to go to the gym at least once this weekend, but I never did. I’m pretty okay with it though.

Confession #5: I did do some interesting non-gym things like grooving to throwback songs with friends, running (!?), working out by the river at my favorite place, doing Blogilates that made our crooked floor boards creak, stretching while studying gross anatomy, and trying slider exercises with a paper plate!

Confession #6: Also instead of the gym, I did fun things like make/eat pancakes and watch The Office with my pals Ben and Rachel 🙂

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humungous banana and oreo pancakes

Confession #7: I ate at P.F. Changs (aka fake Asian food) and loved it.

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also we were starving, so anything tasted good // too hungry to eat it with chopsticks because that takes too much time #dontdowhatido

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‘Twas for my girl Domenica’s birthday (21!!!! check that sake in a wine glass). It was mighty fun hanging out with all these beautiful women!

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Confession #8: I ate chocolate cake and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can no longer say that I don’t like chocolate, I’ve just accepted it. It’s still not my favorite, and I wouldn’t order chocolate things, but I don’t dislike it.

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we got two “Great Wall of Chocolate” cakes to celebrate, and I was all about it

Confession #9: I ate carrot cake before lunch to celebrate my friend Louis’ birthday the next day. So many birthdays this weekend!

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“Like the liturgically significant candles?” – our friend, Pat, who made the cake

Confession #10: I don’t like to spend more than 10 minutes on dinner.

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Confession #11: Megan shared one of her chocolate pudding cups with me last night for dessert, and it was blissful. You bet I added peanut butter to that thing.

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Confession #12: I’m procrastinating getting my laundry out of the dryer, but I’ll go do that now.

Confession #13: I actually did go to confession this weekend.

Also, here’s a random picture of a breakfast that I ate, because I took the photo and the lighting was decent, and yogurt bowls tend to look aesthetically pleasing.

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Hope you have a marvelous Monday!

So tell me:

Two things you did this weekend!

What is the best thing you’ve cooked recently?

Did you watch any sports this weekend?